The name George Wolfgang
Cleve has become almost synonymous with W.A. Mozart as one of the world’s most
devoted interpreters of that composer’s music. Worldwide acknowledgments of
his Mozart expertise include invitations by Vladimir Spivakov to conduct the Requiem
as the grand finale of the International Festival Mozartiana in Moscow,
returning in 2005 to conduct the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia in
Mozart’s 41st Symphony and Schumann’s 4th Symphony for a
series, featuring the last symphonies of great composers. In recent seasons, Mr.
Cleve has conducted Mozart and Brahms for Symphony Silicon Valley and Don
Giovanni for Opera San José. He made his fourth appearance in Moscow
conducting Brahms for the State Academic Orchestra in autumn 2006. Directly
following Moscow, he made his debut with San Francisco Opera conducting
Bizet’s Carmen, as well as opening the San Francisco Ballet season
conducting Divertimento No. 15 by Mozart/Balanchine. Guest engagements
for this season included a fifth return to Moscow for concerts with the National
Philharmonic of Russia, performances of The Firebird with the San
Francisco Ballet, and concerts with Symphony Silicon Valley.
As a busy guest conductor,
he has appeared with most of the North American orchestras,
including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston,
Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Montreal Symphony. He has also appeared
at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival and at the Ravinia Festival with the
Chicago Symphony. Invited in 2000 by choreographer Twyla Tharp to conduct the
world premiere of her The Beethoven Seventh at New York City Ballet, Mr.
Cleve subsequently has become a frequent guest conductor there, conducting The
Firebird, Concerto in 5 Movements, Symphony in C, Le Tombeau de Couperin, and
Midsummer Night’s Dream and other works in ensuing seasons. For the New
York City Ballet’s Balanchine Centennial celebration in January 2007, he
dazzling Divertimento #15.
In Europe, his conducting
credits include the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, English Chamber, Ulster, Swedish Radio, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish Radio, Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Zurich Tonhalle, Suisse Romande, Orchestre
National de France, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine,
Vienna Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin,
Russian National Symphony, and the Mozarteum Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival
1993. Mr. Cleve has also conducted the Singapore Symphony three times, and has
appeared on many podiums in South America, New Zealand, and Australia.
Opera credits include Don Carlo, Carmen, La bohème, La traviata,
Rigoletto, Dido and Aeneas, Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, Abduction from
the Seraglio, Bastien und Bastienne, Cavalleria rusticana, I pagliacci, Madama
Butterfly and Oedipus Rex with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, San
Francisco Spring Opera, Opera San José, Long Beach Opera and the Spoleto USA
Festival, as well as a concert version of Gluck’s Orpheus and Euridice with
the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1994 he conducted Don Giovanni with the
Mr. Cleve was awarded the
rank of Officier of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Republic
of France in recognition of his performances of French music. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Santa
Clara, the Gold Medal of Honor of the Republic of Austria, and the Silver Medal
of the City of Vienna for his part in founding the Midsummer Mozart Festival,
which has just celebrated its 35th season.